Corrosion Prevention For Your Vehicle
In spite of improvements in the materials and manufacturing processes used to build modern vehicles, corrosion is still with us. You can hardly miss the effects of rust as you make your commute to and from work. Cars and trucks with rusty fenders, doors, dog legs and frames are as common now as they were in the 1980’s.
Many in the transportation industry blame the new generation of road de-icing chemicals. Singled out for particular blame is Magnesium Chloride. This de-icing compound forms a crystalline film on the body and windows of vehicles and is very difficult to wash off. It draws moisture from the air and the residue on your vehicle will become actively corrosive at humidity rates below 25%. Making the exposure more threatening is the fact that many government entities also use Magnesium Chloride for dust control on dirt and gravel roads. For vehicles exposed to those driving conditions Magnesium Chloride is a year around problem, not just an issue in the winter months.
As the mechanism by which corrosion works requires an electrolyte, (most often water) to come into contact with the steel. Any steps taken to prevent this interaction are critical to corrosion protection. An application of a rust preventive cavity wax is an effective way to prevent inside out rust. These compounds are installed into the body cavities of the vehicle, areas such as the doors, hood and trunk frame, fenders, quarter panels and rocker panels. The wax forms a barrier that prevents the electrolyte from coming into contact with the metal.
The underbody of the vehicle takes a pounding from the environment and this can cause rust to form on the floor boards and on brake lines. A quality asphalt based undercoating will withstand the impact of road debris and protect the underbody from rust. Asphalt based products will not peel and flake off of the vehicle as rubberized coatings are prone to do.
The paint on the vehicle plays a crucial role in corrosion protection also. Any chips or scratches should immediately be “touched up” with the touch up paint available for your vehicle from the dealership. If necessary, professional body work should not be delayed and the anti corrosion barrier coatings should be replaced upon completion of repairs.
One final and simple way you can help to protect your vehicle against rust is with frequent washing. Care should be taken to remove all chemicals from the body work and a thorough rinsing of the wheel wells and underbody should also be performed. Never wash your vehicle with dishwasher or clothing detergent! These products may dull or even scratch the paint. A pH neutral car wash solution is recommended however, in a pinch, baby shampoo will do the job!
By following the steps outlined above you can keep your vehicle rust free for your maximum enjoyment and for increased trade in value!